Talk:Black Lives Matter

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Votes for deletion This page was previously nominated for deletion. Before doing so again, please review these discussions. (k/d/n)

Hi because we are on meta we might want to involve more than anglophone projects on this ː Ennegreciado wikipedia in Spanish and Noircir wikipedia on the francophone wikipedia.@Galahmm, LurKin, and AfricanadeCuba: Nattes à chat (talk) 17:07, 2 June 2020 (UTC)

Absolutely! This is just a starting point - we should add as much as possible! I will move to mainspace soon - just getting some more input from folks first. --Varnent (talk)(COI) 20:29, 2 June 2020 (UTC)

Over the last week I've been working on the Category of "African-American history of Oregon" by finding and adding articles to that category. I'm wondering if there is a way to call attention to the need for people to work on adding articles to Categories, so that people can find the article? For example, people in the US could be working on the Categories for their states as a small way to make information findable.[[1]] Bridges2Information (talk) 00:07, 5 June 2020 (UTC)

Scientific racism[edit]

Systemic promotion of
scientific racism
task T256115

After raising the systemic multi-language problem across Wikipedias of articles like it:Mongoloide or et:Põhjala_teooria (Nordic theory) which presents the these race classifications as if they are current science, the response has been to take the issue on-wiki, with discussion on the email list stated to be impossible.

As the issue is not one for the main English Wikipedia, as the outdated racial terms are coached there as clearly not current and offensive in modern usage, I am unsure where to post the issue, or to start a list of articles in different languages that need to be corrected or have clear notices about their misleading content.

Any suggestions?

Thanks -- (talk) 07:41, 17 June 2020 (UTC)

I may be overlooking something, but is this a systemic problem that requires an interlanguage approach, or would this be more something that should be discussed locally? Have you brought up concerns at a local level? If so, what were the kind of responses? Effeietsanders (talk) 02:05, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
Mongoloid exists in 51 different language projects. The response of "take it up on each wiki yourself" is not a practical response. Some past local discussions have raised the alarm, but the task of mass changing so many sister projects resulted in no action at all, ref Simple:User_talk:Hiàn#Fringe_theory_at_Mongoloid_and_in_other_Wikis, Simple:Talk:Mongoloid (race). As far as I am aware, despite these discussions occurring in various places for at least the past 12 months, there has been no multi-project initiative to do anything about this systemic problem, nor even any steps taken to stop this type of misuse of Wikipedias for negative educational campaigning getting worse.
As an example the map produced this year, File:Mongoloid (East Asian-related) ancestry per total population.png that promotes a Mongoloid race using genetics, has been used in six different (non European) languages. It actively promotes scientific racism, using false genetic arguments based on a slightly random selection of old academic papers. It is part of a long running campaign of (proven) sockpuppetry that promotes Mongoloid, Negroid, etc. as part of what seems to deliberately promote ideas of eugenics and racial superiority. There is no easy way of getting rid of these, as they are "in use" so cannot be deleted from Commons, theoretically even with a proper deletion discussion.
Picking one example from the global usage list, tt:Монголоид раса (Mongoloid race; in the Tatar language) it relies on outdated sources and uses Wikipedia to present "Mongoloid race" as a current scientific fact. Further it misuses File:Inuit_women_1907.jpg which is a historic photograph of an "Eskimo woman" but was never published in any historical publication to illustrate a Mongoloid race, so this is misuse of Commons photographs of people to promote scientific racism without any possible claim that it is illustrating historic usage.
So, yes it's a systemic problem and no it's not possible to "discuss it locally" on what may be hundreds of Wikimedia projects and an additional problem of demonstrated lobbying eugenicists/supremacists with multiple recently created pseudo-scientific maps and global misuse of Commons hosted photographs, both historical and modern, to make it appear factual that people with different skin colour and appearance are part of Negroid race, Nordic race, Aboriginal races, Caucasoid race, Japanese race, American race or whatever other racial expression anyone can dig out of outdated publications that promote the idea that humans can be classified into different races or defined genetic races.
By the way, as the journal of "Human Biology" was a source of a 2013 article that used Mongoloid as a way of describing a racial profile using genetics, and was quoted as justification to continue using the word in modern illustrations and Wikipedia articles, I contacted the journal and they responded (within hours) with confirmation that they (the AAAG) cosigned a joint position statement against scientific racism. Their publisher, Wayne State University Press, has also responded stating "Thank you so much for bringing our attention to this important concern. With @AAPAorg & @GeneticsSociety statements in mind, we'll be working w/Human Biology’s editorial team on finding the most effective way to address content that uses outdated racial terminology & concepts." -- (talk) 10:35, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
Thank you for spelling this out, and gathering all these examples. I imagine this is not a 'fun task' for you. I believe you that this is a frequent problem. What I'm struggling with, is what would be the most appropriate way to address it at the root. I imagine that if articles like this exist, then there are likely dozens of references in other articles to the same. There is no way that a non-speaker would be able to detect and fix those, even if you'd want to. Hence, I'm wondering if it is actually helpful to create a meta policy that will then be reluctantly implemented (at best), or to actually engage in a conversation and convince them to address it locally. I do agree this would be hard and time consuming.
I would suggest two things, as you're asking for suggestions: First, I would suggest to write a brief 'best practices' document on this topic. Make it easy to digest, beginner-level, in simple English. Don't use complex terminology. I would recommend to let it proof read by someone you typically disagree with on this range of topics, but who is constructive. (You may already have done this, I don't know) Second, I would suggest to take that document for a test drive in one or two languages with a somewhat significant community. Say, Korean or Hindi. If they can't use it, other languages won't be able to deal with it either. If it's a success, maybe you could get a small grant to get it translated into relevant languages. Just some thoughts - but I recognize that I'm usually more of an optimist than most on what collaboration and conversation can achieve. Effeietsanders (talk) 18:14, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
I am not an expert, and do not pretend to be, I have little clear understanding of what the best practices might be or what external guidelines already exist and should be applied here. This needs significant knowledge to do properly.
In raising this, any actions have to be more than what I might personally and individually do. Writing these lists is already far more time looking down this rabbit hole and the associated sockpuppetry in the darkest parts of Wikipedia than I am comfortable with. It paints a target on my back and I have enough problems with trolls and death threats when this is not my job.
This needs paid time for someone prepared to research and analyse where all the hot spots for articles which promote eugenics and scientific racism are, make proposals, gain community consensus on cross-wiki policies and even be supported in some technical digging into the cross-wiki sockpuppetry that seems fairly sophisticated to draw some conclusions about how to make smaller language projects more defensive. It's a pity that at the very first step, the WMF are avoiding any of their operational responsibility for hosting scientific racism and eugenics, nor even make a specific WMF board resolution as we see academic publishers are doing, even when the Wikipedia articles are listed and it's explained to the CEO how bad this dangerous and racist misinformation is. -- (talk) 18:34, 21 June 2020 (UTC)

After Fae's post I started adding Commons images that used some of the words below to the category Scientific Racism. I would hope that no articles ever use an image called "Negroid distribution and average ancestry", for example. Gamaliel (talk) 14:24, 22 June 2020 (UTC)

I may have a go at creating a report of global usage for images in the category and subcats, as I have done similar reports in Pywikibot, though there's a WMF server problem right now making it impossible to use the API to list category content.
The 'hope' seem in vain, just testing the second image picked out a random, File:Negroid mannequin 黒人を模したマネキン人形 P6120826.JPG which clearly is gratuitous use of "negroid" for a modern photograph, its usage is on one article (A) ja:マネキン人形 (mannequin) which at first seems innocuous, but the caption on the image then links to (B) ja:黒人 (black or black people) which defines black people using ja:ネグロイド (Negroid). Article A also happens to use "Australoid", another term considered racist. Though article A mentions these are not valid concepts for biological classification, the lead text presents these terms as if they are normal to use culturally and socially.
While looking at B (black) it gratuitously uses as its lead image File:Stoddard race map 1920.jpg, a well known historic map that was used to promote eugenics. Again this highlights the problem that there are no policies for standard warnings about reuse of historic eugenics or scientific racism materials.
So, just one example highlights a network of interdependent Japanese Wikipedia articles demonstrating that this is not a quick or automatic fix, many Wikipedias probably have a systemic problem with promoting scientific racism, and it's virtually impossible for someone not skilled in the specific language of each Wikipedia (in this case Japanese) to either reliably repair the problem, or negotiate a change in editorial policy.
P.S. also worth adding to the watchlist is the recently created Category:Scientific racism deletion requests. -- (talk) 18:16, 22 June 2020 (UTC)
Did you confirm with a native speaker that you interpreted the wordings correctly? For one, machine translations are not infallible - but there may be underlying nuances at play that we're not aware of. (which only confirms that to actually do anything, you need native speakers) Effeietsanders (talk) 03:50, 23 June 2020 (UTC)
Response to a Google search of "races of humans" in English, demonstrating how Wikipedia and Google automation are actively promoting scientific racism.
There's no ambiguity or misunderstanding about:
  1. A definition of modern black people using an article about the historic idea of a Negroid race.
  2. The nature of an article that uses a famous race map created in the 1920s by a eugenicist in its lead.
Stated previously that well meaning people with no skill with the local language cannot be expected to be the ones to fix this. But anyone can raise a complaint, or add to a target list. However if warning notices were added to these articles as, say, WMF Office action, this might stimulate (force) local "style guides" and policies to address scientific racism and there be less of a risk that readers will mistake these articles for modern science or modern genetics.
Right now Alexa and Google search services rely on their local Wikipedia language variations for definitions and they only extract the first part (often just the first sentence) of lead texts. So let's not underestimate the critical role that Wikipedia in all languages has on the public understanding of scientific racism.
Examples today (I have an echo device on my desk):
Using Echo:
Q: "Define 'Negroid race'"
A: "Negroid race is usually defined as a dark skinned race."
For the Google search response, see screenshot above. Shockingly Google and Wikimedia websites are working together to promote Coon's supremacist theories of race with no context that they are historic and racist. The fact that Wikipedia has no initial warning about these being debunked race myths, is systemic promotion of racism embedded in the way the MediaWiki software works and the way the texts are provided to commercial search engines by the Wikimedia Foundation. These are design choices, not mistakes.
And yes, in these examples of public usage and how most "readers" access content, there is no language misunderstanding, because they are English. -- (talk) 08:52, 23 June 2020 (UTC)

Exemplar lists[edit]


Pages found using 'Negroid' to describe a race of people without any explanation that this is only historical usage. Some translations of the start of the lead are included as illustration, but automatic translation may be unreliable.

  1. hi:नीग्रोइड्स translation:"Negroids species are a human species. Many scholars give this species the status of the first species in the world. Its inhabited areas are ..."
  2. ig:Ndi ojié
  3. ko:니그로 인종 translation:"The Negro race (Negroid) is a race classification mainly referring to dark-skinned people living in Africa..."
  4. ru:Негроидная_раса translation: "The Negroid race (also the equatorial race , the West Equatorial race) is one of the largest races of mankind , traditionally distinguished along with the Caucasoid, Mongoloid and Australoid races"
  5. ast:Negroide
  6. ga:Daoine gorma
  7. be:Негроідная раса translation:"The Great Negroid Race is one of the four great human races ... As a result of the slave trade and migration process is widely represented in America, some countries in South Asia and the Middle East. Nowadays they live in all parts of the world. Represent at least 8% of the human population" (uses File:Family portrait.jpg to illustrate negro race, itself alarming)
  8. tt:Негроид раса

(arbitrary pause at 8 examples) -- (talk) 10:23, 21 June 2020 (UTC)

Nordic race[edit]

Pages found using 'Nordic race' that make no clear statement that this is not a current scientific classification.

  1. fa:نژاد_نوردیک
  2. ar:عرق_الشمال Lead text closes with statement that the term is still in use among scientists.
  3. id:Ras_Nordik and id:Ras Alpen
  4. pt:Raça_nórdica
  5. zh:北歐人種 Has a section on 'Genetics' with multiple maps which promulgate the belief that 'Nordic race' is defined by modern genetic research.

-- (talk) 11:09, 21 June 2020 (UTC)

Mongoloid race[edit]

Pages found using 'Mongoloid race' that make no clear statement that this is not a current scientific classification.

  1. id:Ras Mogoloid
  2. ru:Монголоидная раса, includes multiple claims about other "races"
  3. uk:Монголоїдна раса
  4. zh:蒙古人種, actively promotes the idea that modern genetic studies (2019) prove and support a Mongolian race. In the lead it even quotes as scientific fact that the Mongoloid race is more intelligent than East Asians, Europeans and Africans. Clearly, the Chinese Wikipedia has an especially bad problem with eugenics and racial superiority "lobbying".
  5. lv:Mongoloīdā rase
  6. ta:மங்கோலிய இனம்
  7. sah:Монголоид арааса
  8. ar:عرق_مغولي

Arbitrary pause at 8 examples -- (talk) 11:20, 21 June 2020 (UTC)

American race[edit]

Pages found using 'American race' that make no clear statement that this is not a current scientific classification.

  1. ru:Американоидная раса compares to "Mongoloids" as a race.
  2. kk:Америка_нәсілі
  3. lv:Amerikanidai also promotes a "Paleo-American minor race".
  4. hi:इंडियन_(अमेरिका_के_आदिवासी) describes as a branch of Mongoloid race.
  5. ml:റെഡ്‌ ഇന്ത്യൻ ജനത "primitive races of the North American continent"
  6. vi:Thổ dân châu Mỹ defined as part of vi:Đại_chủng_Á (Mongoloid race)

Arbitrary pause at 6, there are over 100 languages that have articles on American race, so it would be significant volunteer time to examine through them. -- (talk) 13:10, 21 June 2020 (UTC)

WMF position on Scientific Racism[edit]

Though the WMF has made no official statement, Katherine Maher (WMF CEO) was alerted to this issue and has stated:

Hi Fae, as you know, the community sets and enforces editorial policies. I support the community revising its policies to eliminate racist, misogynist, transphobic, and other forms of discriminatory content. (ref)

Whether the WMF might support a project with funding to address multi language scientific racism is something to test out.

However this response appears to eliminate opportunity of the support of WMF employees or contractors to take any direct action against scientific racism or, say, make it a WMF Officie action to mark with warnings Wikipedia articles which promote eugenics, historic tropes which promote race theories or similar. -- (talk) 17:52, 21 June 2020 (UTC)

Something like a WikiProject Anti-Racism ?[edit]

@: Can't we start something like a WikiProject Anti-Racism here at meta (following the model of WikiProjects of the English WP) ? Invite people from local wikis, provide a place to share concerns regarding racist articles, share helpful sources like the AAPA statement, give help on how to recognize racism and how to react to problems like those you described above. If we get enough participants who can communicate in more than one language, the problem of having to deal with 50 articles on "Negroid" on 50 wikis would look at bit less hopeless. I'd like to volunteer to do some anti-racism editing on the Spanish wiki and to alert the local editors at those smaller wikis where most editors know Spanish. If we find people who know Chinese, Hungarian, and so on, we might not be able to solve the problem for 100 % of the wikis, but maybe 90 % of the wikis representing 99 % of WP readers. And possibly, we will need a lot of patience and perseverance. --Rsk6400 (talk) 14:53, 29 June 2020 (UTC)

Having a wikiproject (of some title or other) as a place to centralize discussion of all these related issues, and maintain a central list of 'problem' articles, plus hopefully start to develop a central policy to handle frequent issues of outdated sources, correct use of historic images, etc. would be great.
Not sure that "anti-racism" is the best title, but it's meaning would be widely understood in most languages, which is a key benefit.
I have never set up a meta wikiproject, maybe someone who has could advise whether this is likely to work out or could be a dead-end compared to other ways of promoting an initiative? -- (talk) 15:49, 30 June 2020 (UTC)

Title, essay, deletion[edit]

There are several instances that people put maintenance templates on top of the page. First for deletion (overwhelming support for keeping the page), then a suggestion to change its title to be more inclusive of other groups, and then a statement that it is an 'essay' suggesting that you could agree/disagree with the contents.

All these are probably done in the best of faith, but please look at the contents of the page: it is just an overview of where to find resources relevant to Black Lives Matter. There is barely any opinion there, let alone anything you probably would actually disagree with. The target audience seems to be 'young' community members (as in, no oldtimers) or even people from outside the community. They will likely take such a template as a statement against 'Black Lives Matter', which would be much more of a subjectivism than anything that could be on the page right now. If there is something controversial on the page, lets focus on that, and see if we can make it more objective. But let's not put these templates on top. We have a talkpage and there are plenty of people watching. Effeietsanders (talk) 02:01, 21 June 2020 (UTC)


I appreciate that Jusjih has removed the 'move' template - and as mentioned on Meta:Proposed page moves, I think this is a better place to see if there is actually a problem with the name. If you have a problem with the current page title, please mention it underneath, and make a suggestion how it would improve. Please give some arguments. Effeietsanders (talk) 02:03, 21 June 2020 (UTC)